Thursday, January 25, 2007

Lizard Messiahs Born in Manchester, UK

Jesus wasn't the only one "born of a virgin." He must share that distinction with a litter of Komodo dragons born yesterday in a British zoo:

MANCHESTER, England (AP) -- A British zoo on Wednesday announced the virgin birth of five Komodo dragons, giving scientists new hope for the captive breeding of the endangered species.

In an evolutionary twist, the newborns' 8-year-old mother, Flora, shocked staff at Chester Zoo in northern England when she became pregnant without ever having a male partner or even being exposed to the opposite sex.

Asexual reproduction isn't unheard of among reptiles (remember Jurrasic Park?), so Jesus and the dragon quintet have company. Still, this is only the second documented case of virgin birth for the world's largest lizard species.


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